Religion is an integral and deep-rooted part of Nepali life which shapes the diverse traditions and rituals followed by people. Hinduism and Buddhism are closely connected in Nepal, and religion is not just a set of beliefs and accompanying rituals handed down from generation to generation; rather it is a complex intermingling of traditions, festivals, faiths and doctrines that have permeated every strata of Nepali society.
Religious traditions and rituals guide every important event in the life of a person from cradle to pyre. These rituals differ from community to community and different ritual experts have different roles in these rituals. A new born child undergoes Chaithi Nwaran, the naming ceremony (6thday of birth), and Annaprasan, the rice-feeding ceremony (5th or 6th months after birth depending on whether the baby is a girl or boy). The ‘coming of age’ ceremony (gufa rakhney for Newar girls at pre-puberty stage or gifting of Guneu-cholo– a set of adult female dresses); and the Bratabandha or Upanayana ceremony for boys is performed before he reaches teenage when his head is shaved and given the ceremonial loin-cloth and sacred thread to wear. Marriage ceremony contains very elaborate rituals that go on for more than a day. On the death of a person, funeral rites are performed by the family.
Sharma, Rashmi. Nepal and SAARC. New Delhi: Regal Publications, 2007.
Cultural Treasures of Nepal. Nepal Tourism Board.2009.